Sustainable Public Procurement Programme

Sustainable Public Procurement Programme

Current Stage: Launched

Background: Building on a 10-year journey

The 10YFP Programme on SPP further amplifies and extends the impact of the Sustainable Public Procurement Initiative (SPPI), which was launched in June 2012 at the Rio+20 Conference ( The SPPI was itself a continuation of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurement, led by the government of Switzerland from 2005 until 2011. To view the main achievements of the Marrakech Task Force, please visit



1. Build the case for SPP: improve the knowledge on SPP and its effectiveness as a tool to promote sustainable consumption and production, support greener economies and sustainable development.

2. Support the implementation of SPP on the ground through increased collaboration, and better access to capacity building tools and support through SPP experts.

Work Areas

The SPP programme work plan is organized around 4 main pillars, delivered by time bound and results oriented working groups led by partner organizations.

1. Work Area 1: “Implementing SPP on the Ground”.

This work area focuses on the following goals: 1) Enhancing cooperation and communication between support organizations and implementing entities; 2) Promoting South-South cooperation on SPP implementation; and 3) Supporting SPP implementation by providing technical assistance and resources in the form of information and capacity building tools, trust fund support, etc. To achieve those goals effectively this group is divided into four sub-groups: 
i. Harmonizing and improving SPP Implementation Methodologies
ii. Improving and Exchanging Capacity Building and Information Tools
iii. Collaborating with Central and Local Governments
iv. Collaborating with Multilateral Development Banks
2. Work Area 2: “Assessing Implementation & Impacts” has 3 sub-groups:

A. “Monitoring SPP implementation”: reviews different approaches for measuring and evaluating the impact of SPP and its contribution to green economy and sustainable development. Ecoinstitut, the working group leader, is working to produce several deliverables: a concept map of different kinds of monitoring and evaluation systems, in-depth case studies of 6 countries’ M&E systems, a pilot project, and final recommendations on specific M&E systems.

B. “Measuring impacts and communicating benefits”: builds upon the work of the first sub-group to see how organizations can take their monitored SPP, calculate the environmental, social, and economic benefits, and then subsequently communicate those impacts to others. The main deliverables of the working group are a paper on methodologies and recommendations, pilot work, and case studies. The group will be led by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC).

C. “Promoting best practices”: is led by UNEP and OECD and has produced a compendium of case studies from 21 countries around the world on best practices in the implementation of Green Public Procurement. To read the compendium and learn more about OECD's work in the area of Green Public Procurement, please visit

3. Work Area 3: “Addressing barriers to SPP implementation and Promoting Innovative Solutions” – this area investigates some of the problems that prevent SPP from being further implemented, as well as the creative ways that some organizations have found to surpass those obstacles, through the work of 3 sub-groups:

A. “Integrating Product Service Systems (PSS) into SPP”: is led by the USEPA and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and looks at the sustainability gains associated with replacing the purchase of products with the purchase of services or a products-services mix. The main deliverables of this group are a position paper on product-service systems, 6-7 case studies, a training module, and a fact sheet.

B. “Overcoming legal barriers”: aims at supporting national experts involved in the reform of public procurement legal frameworks, as well as identifying best practices in the field of legal reviews.

C. “Including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)”: will focus on the social side of SPP, investigating how public procurers can avoid the oft-encountered problem of the exclusion of SMEs from SPP.

4. Work Area 4: “Collaborating with the private sector”: the focus shifts to how the public sector can communicate and work with the private sector to forward the cause of SPP. This area includes 2 sub-groups:

A. “Greening supply chains”: In this group the Swedish Environmental Management Council (SEMCo) leads the effort in looking at how SPP relates to and interacts with sustainable supply chain management. The main output of the group is a pre-study that takes an in-depth look at two specific products – cotton textiles and timber products. To download the final report, published on 30 June 2014, click here.

B. “Supporting SPP implementation through the use of ecolabels and sustainability standards”: is led by ISEAL Alliance and focuses on addressing the challenges associated with the use and integration of ecolabels and voluntary standards into SPP. Some of the biggest deliverables of this group include the development of a training module for incorporating ecolabels into SPP, use of that module to train trainers, production of an overview report on how ecolabels play into SPP, and the development of a network and resource hub on SPP & Ecolabelling.

To learn more about the Principles of Sustainable Public Procurement, click here

Structure and Regional Distribution

The 10YFP SPP Programme is led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and co-led by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI). A Multistakeholder Advisory Committee oversees the programme’s implementation, and work area coordinators carry out each specific working group’s tasks.

Click here for a complete list of our partners.

Interested in joining?

The SPP Programme is open to all organizations and individual experts that are interested in joining a collaborative platform to support the implementation of SPP.

Why should I join?

  • Access a rich, expansive network of organizations and individuals all working together to foster the implementation SPP. 

  • Share your experience and learn from others 

  • Benefit from advice and technical support on SPP implementation 

  • Apply for financial support for SPP activities in developing countries through the 10YFP Trust Fund, which issues calls for proposals on a periodic basis.

Download the application form to join the SPP programme!

Contact us: 

  • Farid Yaker, SPP Programme Officer, UNEP (

  • Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre (

  • Hyunju Lee, Associate Researcher, Sustainability Strategy Office, Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (